Project deClutter: So Long Socks

Weeding out my clothes is something I do quite regularly, surprising for someone who hangs on to things as long as I do. Somehow, I got into the habit of sorting through which clothes I wear and which I don’t, and making a pile to take to Dorcas or Goodwill, or Salvation Army or whoever takes such donations, every spring and fall. The last one of these trips I made was in September, so reaching fifty things from my closet seemed highly unlikely.

This dresser doesn't look like a home to clutter, but how it hides chaos oh so well.
This dresser doesn't look like a home to clutter, but how it hides chaos oh so well.

While I weed out my closet, I almost never weed out my dresser. So that seemed like a good place to start. It was. One small section of my room, and I’m already at 25.5 of my 50 items! Among those that were hardest for me to put in the pile, though, were my socks.

Actually, I had tip from my mom that I needed to go through my socks. Over Christmas, she pointed out to my dad that he needed to get new socks because there were holes in the ones he wore. Then she looked at my feet, pointed to my socks, and indicated I needed to get rid of mine as well. I knew that pair was beyond hope, but I shuttered to think about what I’d have to get rid of in my drawers.

Nonetheless, today I knew I’d have to go to the dresser and go through the socks. It would be hard to get rid of them. But I would just try to imagine which socks my mom would disapprove of, and no matter what I felt about each pair of socks, if I knew she would think they were too worn, out they went.

I know. Socks seems something odd to be sentimental over. But I’ve had some of these socks since high school, which really, was quite some time ago. They were gifts from friends, many of whom I am not in regular contact with anymore. I guess in a way, the socks maybe felt like a last tangible connection to those friends, to childhood, to a time when it didn’t matter if I wore striped socks with dress pants to school because I was young and I could get away with that.

Stars and ducks. I loved these socks. That's probably why the heels are about worn through.
Stars and ducks. I loved these socks. That's probably why the heels are about worn through.

I definitely had a striped, or otherwise decorative, sock phase, and that shows in the collection that I am now giving way. Or throwing way? How does one dispose of old socks? Either way, perhaps it’s good that holes are finally starting to come through the heels and toes of these socks. The decorations do make them look a little juvenile for someone about to receive two advanced degrees.

But I will miss stripes in socks. The exude happiness, energy, and order, all at the same time. In contrast, the socks that I’ve bought over the last year have been boring shades of grey, black, brown, and navy blue so they can be worn with business casual wear.

I've had all of these socks since high school. If you visit my parents' house, you will see a picture in the family room with me wearing the socks in the middle. A friend once complemented how my shirt matched the teal stripe in the sock on the right. That shirt was given away long ago. Time to say good-bye to the socks that went with it too.
I've had all of these socks since high school. If you visit my parents' house, you will see a picture in the family room with me wearing the socks in the middle. A friend once complemented how my shirt matched the teal stripe in the sock on the right. That shirt was given away long ago. Time to say good-bye to the socks that went with it too.

I almost stopped myself in the middle of the process. By getting rid of socks, I thought, as well as other things from my dresser, this means I’m going to have to do more laundry. So my life may be decluttered–but I’ll spend more time by my washing machine!

I have to say, though, by the end of all of this, it’s good I got rid of these old socks, some nylons, and some other things. There’s more room in my drawers now, and I’m not afraid to open them. And surprisingly, I’m left with a fair number of striped socks that seem to have a few more good years in them.

Old socks gone. Neat drawer now, definitely less clutter.
Old socks gone. Neat drawer now, definitely less clutter.

So long socks! Thanks for keeping my feet warm in the freezing tundra of Michigan and the friendly town of Charlottesville. My toes greatly appreciate it.

I think the next declutter stop may be my closet after all. Just because I may not have any more clothes in there to get rid of doesn’t mean there may not be other objects to be removed. And I may have to revisit the dresser. Old t-shirts may have to go too.

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